Triggery trigger things

I have been thinking lately about what it’s like to be infertile / pursuing IVF / post miscarriage.

  
“One of these things is not like the other” – Β© Sesame Street

I realised that’s how it feels. I feel Other.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I’ve had a whole lifetime of getting used to being Other. I was born overseas and I was adopted a few days after birth by my white British parents. Unlike some adoptees (note: I dislike the word but for the purposes of this blog I use it for brevity rather than “people who were adopted”), my parents actually lived in the country of my birth and even spoke some of my “native” language. (I say native as I was preverbal when I lived there so my native language is English.) I realised over the weekend when I was randomly thinking about it that my white British parents actually lived longer in my country of birth than I ever did. Strange.

Growing up with non-white features it was ingrained in me from the start that I was Other. (Okay, possibly not the start, but pretty much smacked me in the face when I moved to England.) The predominant beauty standards are white and you probably have no idea how internalised that beauty standard is. For example, it’s taken me until recent years, my late 30s, to understand that people of my race can actually be attractive. And for me – I used to hate how I looked so much, that I would stare for hours in the mirror at myself and wish that my eyes and nose and hair and skin were different, and I could just be “normal” (blonde, blue eyed). Even though there are probably more people who look like me in the world than not. Fast forward to adolescence and females of my race are fetishised as exotic and ascribed a level of ability with the opposite sex that has simultaneously served me well, as well as slightly repulsed me.

It’s kind of tricky growing up different. Of course I had a sibling, also adopted from the same country, who was supposed to make me feel less alone. Our parents wanted us to have that kind of buddy and racial mirroring, I guess. (They came from the era where “colourblindness” was the prevailing attitude, pretending you can’t see race, which is really quite confusing to transracially adopted kids. They didn’t know any better – I don’t blame them, but it really is confusing when people tell you they can’t see a problem when there is clearly a problem.)

It’s been a love-hate relationship between my adopted sibling and me all our lives. At times it’s felt like a reminder of my own failings, a mirror to my Otherness. At times it’s felt like I had an ally and at times it’s felt like we were both as clueless as each other. We don’t know how to be [our race], other than in looks. We had very few racial mirrors growing up (as they now talk of as important on transracial adoption forums). I hate to admit it, but I was kind of scared of people of my own race… they seemed so foreign… and if I really admit it, I probably still do. I’m insanely jealous of [ethnic minority] colleagues who have loads of [their race] friends. Like, I like white people; I really do – I live with one, and my family’s mainly white – but it would be nice once in a while to not be the token ethnic.

Infertility and transracial adoption is a strange and ironic kind of intersectionality where I kind of want to start singing Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic, aside from the fact that everyone knows it’s not really about irony. There’s a special sort of bad luck associated with that primal desire to have some sort of genetic connection to another being, which adopted and non-adopted alike seem to want more often than not, and the inability to have that even when your first genetic links were severed. It’s like lightning striking twice – no, you can’t have a genetic relation! Can you really lose both your first family and your potential family? That seems kind of double bad luck! You lose the ability to see your parents in yourself, and you lose the ability to see yourself in your kids. That is something basic, something primal, and something that pretty much everyone else takes for granted. It seems doubly unfair not to have both, no matter how “lucky” you are as an adoptee.

I can only speak for myself as an adoptee. Others have different stories… We aren’t some amorphous mass of adoptedness. A lot of the time when I read stuff on adoption forums and blogs, I feel like I can’t relate, and maybe that’s another layer of intersectionality – the treatment of ethnic minorities (UK term) / people of color (US term) in the UK (where I live) and the US (where most bloggers/forum posters seem to live). I think my experience growing up overseas in a primarily American expatriate environment followed by “assimilation” in the British environment in the UK gives me a specific perspective that probably differs from a lot of what I read online. I don’t at all dismiss those voices, and equally I think it’s good if we recognise we aren’t all the same – some dichotomy of angry or grateful (the adoptee tropes) – we are all different, all complex, all different shades.

My feelings about adoption have changed and developed, which is apparently common with adoptees. As a younger child and adult I really downplayed the idea that genetic links mattered and that there was any need to have a child related to me by blood… I kind of thought it didn’t matter, because it didn’t matter that my family wasn’t genetically related to me. (I always saw myself having children, though.) As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more “woke” (as they call it in adoption rights parlance) to the idea that adoption isn’t just as tickety-boo as it might seem (I’m not opposed to it but I think there are reasons I would hesitate about doing it, particularly in the UK where there is far less of a domestic adoption “market” as there is in the US/overseas, meaning that we don’t really have babies adopted to order and more likely involving traumatised children who have been involuntarily removed from their parents). I’ve also become more in tune with the idea that I’ve lost my genetic links and my cultural heritage and that that’s a loss rather than just a fact, and I would like if possible if my child could have that familiarity and genetic link to its parents.

I don’t know if I’m really explaining it very well… It’s just how I feel. Both my partner and I were adopted as babies; we both had largely positive experiences (though mine was negatively impacted by being a different race to the predominant one) and we both feel that our adoptive families are our families, and we feel secure and happy in our families. And yet – we both would like to have a child who is genetically ours. We haven’t fully explored what our choice would be if/when we decide to give up on the fertility treatments. I can’t say for sure what I would want, but I don’t think we would automatically move towards adoption (plus I think it’s insulting to think that just because we were adopted, we should “just adopt” – it’s really not that simple). Life without kids isn’t worthless, no matter what the media might portray. We enjoy our life right now with Dog and without children, so maybe we would just not have kids.

And here we are, putting ourselves (mainly me) through this gruelling and intrusive process, just to grasp that teeny tiny flicker of hope that it might work and we might become parents. I started down regulation just over a week ago and honestly, I feel pretty crappy.

First of all, it makes me feel like I have perma-PMS. I now have a big zit on my chin, which always makes me feel really self conscious (I had very bad acne as a teen which only healed when I went on the pill – bad skin just added to my intense hatred of my looks). I’ve also piled back on the weight which I don’t know whether to attribute to a bad month of eating (staycation, Easter, general PMS-like feelings from down regulation) or to the side effects of the Buserelin. Either way I’m back up to a high weight and I’d been doing really well losing 4-5kg, so it makes me feel awful and fat. Plus whatever’s in Buserelin (it dampens down your body’s natural cycle which is then kick started by stimulation meds in a couple of weeks) makes my boobs grow enormous.

The upside of this is that T really likes the bigger boobs; the downside is I hate them. They feel sore and I feel like they make me look fat. He says the drugs make me more moody too, which is probably not a surprise as they basically mimic PMS symptoms. Ugh. So I’m spotty, with greasy hair, humungaboobs and fat as well as moody. It’s basically the dream combo for making a baby! (Nevertheless we did have a bit of how’s your father over the weekend, because you may as well take advantage of having big boobs when the situation arises.) I’ve found myself feeling more emotional than normal, which is maybe a side effect of down regulation. (Or: I’m just a moody cow.) I feel more than ever that there are situations in which people (let’s call them breeders) act in a way that is massively triggering.

One such occasion happened last week when I was on the tube. The tube was delayed for ages due to some kind of mechanical problems which means it was way more crowded than usual. I was standing up for part of the way and was feeling kind of gross (as for some reason I’ve also been feeling a bit nauseous, probably due to the Buserelin or possibly that I keep stuffing myself). A guy holding a toddler obnoxiously asked people to move down inside the carriage (people do this and it’s very annoying because the carriage was already really crowded and people weren’t standing there just for fun). Someone in front of me vacated their seat and I went to take it, and then this guy holding the toddler kind of muscled in and said in a really loud voice “Could I have that seat please” – indicating the child as a reason. I duly gave up my seat.

This is probably a London etiquette thing but the basic hierarchy for seats is: disabled people, pregnant women, old people – then everyone else. There’s no place in the hierarchy for children, and in many cases, people will ask their children to stand up or sit on their laps if lots of people are standing. The other point is that children travel free. So by taking up a seat, a child is taking a seat from people who have paid, whilst they haven’t paid. Now, I always give up my seat to people who fall in the above categories. Believe it or not, I’m especially attuned to pregnant women because to see one is basically to be punched in the face with your infertility. They have these badges they wear saying Baby On Board which is depending on how you see it, either a smug way of saying they’re pregnant but more likely a British thing of asking for a seat without actually having to ask. If you see someone with a badge on, you need to offer them a seat. Everyone knows that. (Strangely it always seems to be me giving a seat, rather than a man.)

What bugged me and triggered me about this man was his sense of entitlement. Sure, it’s not fun standing on a crowded tube train with a toddler. But he was travelling in rush hour, which is when most people are getting to work (it seems unlikely he was, given his casual wear and the kid), and there were delays, meaning that most of the carriage was full of standing people. Like I said, it’s absolutely not the norm to give a seat because someone has a child (it was an able bodied, verbal child) and then it soon became apparent that this guy was there with his wife/partner, as he started speaking in a loud “Daddy” voice to the toddler about “Mummy” for the entire journey. I’m all for fathers being happy to be fathers but parents who shove parenthood into everyone else’s faces really p*** me off.

In fact the man sitting next to him immediately got up and offered me his seat, because he also seemed to grasp how ridiculous it was to be told to give up your seat for an able bodied man and child. (Note I didn’t say anything about feeling nauseous or ill or anything, because as a non-pregnant non-mother we are pretty much implied to be invisible and pointless… I don’t get a vote.) I appreciatively took the seat and then wham… a woman gets on with a Baby on Board badge, and nobody offers her a seat, so I jump up out of my seat and she waddles through the crowd and takes it. (I’m not mad at her, just mad at all the people closer to her who should have given up their seat – including the able bodied man and child… The guy just carried on yabbering to the child really loudly, as if he thought he didn’t have to give up his seat for a pregnant lady.)

Point was of this whole story is how a seemingly innocuous event can make you feel terrible. Maybe it’s the down regulation and the drugs that are making me feel bad. Maybe it’s my history of infertility and loss that makes me feel like I’m constantly reminded of how I’m a second class citizen because I don’t – can’t – have a child. Maybe it’s a lifetime of feeling Other. Or maybe it’s all three.

I got a seat eventually, when the obnoxious Daddy got off (not after giving the entire carriage a running commentary in baby voice about every single stupid aspect of the journey – basically being inconsiderate to everyone else, either because he thought his job as Daddy was so important or he just didn’t care). It’s such a stupid small thing, but the effects of that journey are still ongoing. I am still smarting from it a week later, still feeling inadequate and still feeling resentful. I even feel resentful that I’m resentful. Like, I shouldn’t even care what some dimwit does on the tube, but I do. It’s pretty much impossible to escape one’s childlessness and the constant reminders that we are lesser human beings because we haven’t managed to perform this basic human function.

And yet. There are good things happening too. (I promise you I’m not sitting around in a fug of childlessness… I’ve been childless my whole life so I’ve had time to get accustomed to the idea!) Hopefully our house is moving ahead, which is a good thing. I mean, it’s exciting to think we might have our own home. We even went to the Ideal Home Show at the weekend just to look around, as we got free tickets – it’s fun to play dream house although our new place is tiny and doesn’t have space for most stuff! T made me think of fun things like what would my ideal cooker be. (He’s great at cheering me up. It would be a big range cooker! Impractical for a small flat!) On Sunday we introduced Dog to our friends’ dog – they’d never met – and went for a long walk. They aren’t friends as such given the other dog is 4 times Dog’s size, but the other dog “gave” our Dog a cow’s ear (URGH) to chew on, which Dog’s almost beside himself with happiness about. (I, on the other hand, am disgusted.)

Work is much easier now I know I’m leaving! It’s quite gratifying when people are being annoying, to think that I don’t have to deal with them for much longer. My work friend left last week which was sad, as it means I don’t have her to chat to any more, but I did inherit her desk which is a total prime desk by the window in the corner (not overlooked – win!) which is fun to think of as it means I have it for the next couple of months whilst working my notice! Which is quite nice!

So actually I’m sort of happy about things. I’m just working through my feelings on here, and aside from the Buserelin Blues (which should be a song – boo-boo-be-doo) I am generally okay. I need to work on not getting worked up!

Next steps for IVF: 

I have my first scan on 12 April. This means in a week’s time I could be starting stims and I also have some of the reproductive immunology stuff from Dr S to take. Maybe a week or two after that, egg collection. Quite exciting… although daunting to think of how many other steps there are after that. T and I were talking about it and thinking ahead to next steps if this doesn’t work. Like if we move, we might have to go to a different clinic for the next cycle. We might change eligibility so might not get another NHS cycle, which would mean going privately. It sounds negative but I find it easier to try and plan for contingencies and think that we have a plan if it doesn’t work out.
I am hopeful. It’s just that I’m slightly more realistic… slightly more bruised than I was in Cycle 1.

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44 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown

    SO many thoughts running through my head after reading this!! So, I’m going to write in a list format so I don’t forget.
    1. Train guy. Seriously? If I ever become a parent like that, please tell me and probably slap me while I’m at it! That’s ridiculous.
    2. Adoption and race. Totally on my mind these days. Both. I really need to write my thoughts down and share them with the world. It’s an interesting thing. I clearly have no ability to internalize being a different race as I am as white as they come (although I will admit as a kid I always dreamed of having blond hair and blue eyes). But, I do have to be aware of this now that we have a son who may be mixed race, but may also pass for white. It seems to depend on the lighting. But, I suspect that this is something I need to understand better to help him in the future as he processes his own feelings about all of this.
    3. Down regulation and IVF stuff. I have nothing but admiration for anyone who goes through the IVF process. I never did,and ultimately made a conscious decision that I’m not prepared to (in large part because I don’t see how it would have helped us given that we can so easily get pregnant), so it’s something I just don’t understand. But, having “watched” so many friends like you go through it, I am in awe of your resilience. You truly are amazing and I desperately hope this time everything works perfectly and you bring home your own little baby soon!!
    4. I love that Dog went on a dog play date! Totally adorable.
    5. What, no pictures of cake?? They always look so yummy!!

    Like

    • Nara

      Ha! Thanks for the list! πŸ™‚

      1) Yeah, train guy was just a douche. I think I probably reacted stronger than I needed to though (definitely), although that’s because I wasn’t really able to react at all in person (I texted T and a friend and complained about him and they were both like “OMG what an idiot”, which made me feel better). It’s just hard sometimes when stupid things like that happen.

      2) Adoption and race is definitely a Thing. I think maybe it varies depending on where you’re adopted to, though. Like I don’t know if Canada is more like the UK or US in terms of race. In the US, from what I read, it is much more polarised and apparent. I think there are lots of things to think about for your son, regardless of whether he is mixed race or not… It’s something for adoptees that runs throughout their lives, this question of identity.

      3) Down regulation is really gross! I feel like hormonal changes affect me a lot (like each month!) so down reg is just like a turbo charged version of that! I think it’s easier to put up with if you have a baby at the end of it, but last year it felt like I basically had about 5 months out of the year where I suffered and couldn’t do stuff, and then didn’t have anything good at the end of it! I can see why you decided not to do it; after all it is to help people get pregnant. Glad you didn’t have to go through it!

      4) Yeah, Dog is a silly thing. πŸ™‚

      5) I will have to post a pic of the latest cake! It was a bit of a late night slightly tipsy effort, to be fair.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. theskyandback

    Ok, wait. Women actually wear badges that say “Baby on Board”? Whoa. OMG, that would drive me batty! I feel like if a women is not pregnant enough for people to notice all on their own, then she’s not pregnant enough to need someone to give up a seat.

    And this question: Can you really lose both your first family and your potential family? Reading that just about broke my heart. I’m sorry you have to potentially go through both of those losses. That’s something that most of us on here can’t understand, but my heart hurts for you just thinking about it. I’m keeping everything crossed that this next IVF is successful and your potential family turns into your real-live flesh and blood family.

    And finally, awesome on scoring the desk by the window! I hope that makes the rest of your time there more pleasant. Xo.

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    • EmilyMaine

      I actually love the badge idea. I worked in Sydney (our biggest city here) for my entire first pregnancy and no one got up for me once in public transport (which I caught every day) and I looked very pregnant – like basketball up the shirt pregnant. There was no mistaking it! I suspect the same thing was happening in the UK and that is why the badges were invented. It is a safety thing. If there is a sudden stop or a surge in the crowd then a pregnant woman could get squashed and it could very well lead to an abruption. So I see the logic in the badges and if it leads to at least some people getting up and giving their seat then I am all for a bit of obnoxiousness!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • sewingbutterfly

        And they would save people from the “I don’t want to offer my seat in case she isn’t pregnant and she gets offended”. I have noticed here in Canberra it is women or teenagers who give up their seats…not the businessmen in suits.

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      • Babyscienceproject

        I just got a ‘baby on board’ badge! I only wear it when the tube is packed – I worry about people banging into my bump otherwise. People almost always offer a seat…although as Nara says, they are invariably women!

        Like

      • Nara

        Yeah, I’m “on board”(!) with the badges. It does make sense as the tube can be really crowded. Also I think if someone’s in the early stages of pregnancy and feeling nauseous then it’s helpful to be able to sit down and not have your face shoved in someone else’s sweaty armpit (as is fairly common!). Basically I think they brought them in because British people don’t like to ask either way. Like you don’t want to offend a fatty and if you’re pregnant, you don’t want people having to guess whether you’re pregnant and worry about offending you! It just makes it unambiguous! πŸ™‚
        I can’t believe they didn’t give you a seat in Sydney. I do always see pregnant women getting a seat. And if people don’t look up or whatever, I’ve asked people to give other people (pregnant, old, disabled) seats before and I’ve seen others do it too.
        I’m totally okay with people asking for a seat if they need it – and for people voluntarily giving up a seat if someone obviously needs it more than they do. I was just a bit nonplussed by the guy with the kid, as usually that isn’t a reason to ask someone to give up their seat.

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      • EmilyMaine

        OH man I thought about this dude and his kid for aaaaages this morning for some reason. I was just trying to settle on what I felt about it. In the end I thought it was ok to ask an adult to get up for a young child to be seated for the same reason as it is ok for pregnant women to take your seat: safety. If there is a surge in a crowd then a small kid would absolutely go down and be trampled. So I think I would be OK with them getting the seat. We have parents with prams parks here too so parents with young kids do already get special treatment. They also get priority for the front area of the bus (after disabled folks – wheelchairs first) so I think I am already used to this concept because of that. And I’m sure that the dude seemed obnoxiously loud but if I was on a super cramped train with my kid I’d probably be talking crap to them on and on too to try and distract them. The only thing worse then mum and dad prattling on in a cramped train is a wigging out kid and if they are going to wig out anywhere it is a cramped train with lots of strangers. For some kids it would just be way too overwhelming. Who knows why they were on there at that time. They were probably cursing it themselves and wishing it wasn’t the case. And it probably only pissed you off as much as it did because of the down reg. I am a complete nutjob on birth control. I was always grateful I didn’t have to do a down reg cycle when we were in the midst of IVF. I think you sound like you are doing a pretty good job of handling it all things considered as that ride totally blows. xx

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      • Nara

        Ha. Honestly I would probably be p’d off with people like that regardless of the down reg! I think that he was a special kind of obnoxious, but it’s hard to explain it and I probably just sound like a b****. People were looking at him and the other guy offered me a seat, put it that way. Also, if he hadn’t forced his way through and asked in an entitled way I can tell you I probably would have offered him a seat. I’m always giving up my seat for people. It was more his manner. It’s like… If a waiter asked you obnoxiously for a tip in a restaurant, you would give them the minimum. But if they hadn’t asked, they probably would have gotten more!

        As another example – there are two pregnant women in the office right now who sit near me. The b**** (or The Blimp, as I now call her) and another lady. I have issues with the Blimp as she has always been a b**** to me (see previous posts) plus she’s always banging on about being pregnant in a really loud voice. Everyone hates her and can’t wait for her to leave, and she’s completely oblivious as she thinks she’s great. This other lady is totally normal, and I even had a chat about her pregnancy as she came to the leaving do (and we all kind of looked out for her and made sure she had water and lime) and j have no issues with her whatsoever. So I don’t hare people just because they have kids. Some parents are just idiots, and it’s even more jarring that I’m reminded of my infertility because of their actions, but I don’t just hate them because of it – I hate them because they’re d***s! 😜

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      I’m accustomed to the Baby on Board badges – I agree that they do make sense. I think otherwise, British people would feel constrained by having to ask someone if they wanted a seat and turned out to be just fat! πŸ˜‰ Plus being British, pregnant women don’t want to have to ask!

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      • theskyandback

        Ha I would never want to ask either, but I also would never expect anyone to give up their seat for me–I think this must be because I am used to Americans just being generally rude! I am always shocked when someone does something nice. Here at my job no one even holds doors for each other. They’ll just let it slam in your face! I do see the importance of a badge from a safety perspective, like you all are saying especially in the third trimester. It’s definitely a good thing overall. But as an infertile woman I feel like it would make me sad to see those badges every day. πŸ™

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      • Nara

        Really?! I always thought that Americans were really polite! Have a nice day and whatnot! I can’t believe they slam doors in your face! Dream… Broken! 😭
        I think I feel like you do… I get why they need the badges, but I feel sad when I see the badges and wonder if I’ll ever get to wear one of my own. 😞

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    • Nara

      Thank you for your sympathy (empathy? I never am completely sure of what’s what!). It does feel like a weird situation to potentially be a genetic island.

      On the plus side (ha!) I do have the awesome corner window desk now! I did have a window desk before (my best coworker who left sat opposite me) but I’m not overlooked in her (my) desk, which is great! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  3. thecommonostrich

    IVF sucks. So much. At the end of my cycle, I was basically convinced I would never do it again regardless of the outcome. I’m happy I did (because end result = baby) but holy crap it screws with your brain.

    I still get testy about people who appear to flaunt their children. Those who do so during rush hour should be flogged. (The parents, not the children. To be clear.) There is a general vein of entitlement here that gets my goat. I mean, how does this tool bag know you haven’t just had surgery? Or sprained your ankle? Or are currently undergoing infertility treatments? Bah! Compassion is a look we should all wear. (Yes, this coming from someone who just advocated flogging.)

    I am interested in your POV on otherness. Though I’m not a visible minority, I am in fact “of color” and have spent a lot of time thinking about what being “other” means. It strikes me that at some point we all feel outside the norm. I wonder what would happen if we spent more time on being inclusive rather than insisting on an us v. them paradigm. To be clear, I don’t mean to downplay your point of view as an adoptee or ethnic minority– in fact, I think it does more harm than good when we don’t honor our differences. I suppose this is a long winded way of saying there is a part of your story that rings true for me, and likely does a lot of people who have felt on the outside.

    We’re all just little misfits at the end of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Haha, thanks. As I mentioned further up, I’m sure it’s an overreaction due to IVF brain (which should totally be a thing… although I think it’s IVF heart/mind rather than brain as such… It’s more about the strange out of control emotions!).

      I think that’s what I resent – people who flaunt their kids, and people who act like they’re somehow entitled to more out of life because they have kids. I feel like: You already have more in life than we non-parents do, so why not just be a bit more humble about it? I don’t object to engaged parents – it’s better than those who just ignore their kids – but a packed commuter train in rush hour isn’t the time to indulge your fantasies of being Dad of the Year 2016.

      I agree we all feel different at some point in time. I think the sort of growing up identity crisis is pretty universal. However there’s definitely a difference if you are visibly a different race… I think you can’t really understand it if you are treated as white (for example, T was also adopted but he has a different experience from mine firstly because he’s a different person(!) but also because he’s not *visibly* adopted).

      There are lots of small ways you are reminded that you are Other. Like when you are out with your family and people assume you are not part of their group, or you are a friend of the white kids. When you go out to dinner with your father (30+ year age gap) and people assume you are his mail order bride / a golddigger / his girlfriend. When people who haven’t ever met you in real life speak with you on the phone with your flawless English accent and then they come to meet you and they’re scanning the meeting place looking for a white person. When people of your own race are celebrating their cultural customs and you can’t relate at all.

      I’ve never insisted on Us v Them – I’ve always tried to assimilate, and downplay my differences (a legacy of the “colourblind” era). It’s my job as a transracial adoptee to integrate, to be the acceptable face of my race, to make people less scared of foreigners and to be “just like white people”. I’ve done it all my life. The point is that no matter what I do, no matter how British I am (very!), I’ll still always first and foremost be seen as different. There is an experience of being a different race and yet still having family of that race, and then there’s the adoptee experience – where you are that sort of different, but you don’t have family that matches you in appearance (though they do culturally). So there is that dichotomy, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • EmilyMaine

        I haven’t had a chance to comment on this adoption and “other” stuff yet. I always find it so fascinating and don’t want to comment too much as I am an ignorant white person raised by white people really so I understand that I can never really “know”. When you were talking about the colour blind thing I immediately thought about the whole United Colours of Benetton campaign for some reason and I was trying to figure out if the point of that was for us to be colour blind – so not see the colours really as we are all united – or for us to see the colours and understand that we are all the same as people. I don’t know. It is just what popped into my head. You have so many examples of where you are placed as an “other” though and they are all totally legitimate and probably barely scratch the surface of the many situations people face all day every day. It makes me sad.

        And the genetic island stuff, well that just makes me sad and speechless. I hate that you feel you have to consider that it may be a reality. I like to think you aren’t there yet so I’m going to have faith in this cycle and not set you up for island status just yet. xxx

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      • Nara

        Well we always say as a family that we are like United Colours of Benetton! πŸ˜‚ I remember the campaigns. I don’t know what they were trying to say other than… Beauty in diversity, or something like that? I did use to like those adverts a lot as a child! Possibly because it was the only time I’d ever see people of different races!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. stealingnectar

    I always love reading your perspective on things! I can’t believe that guy on the train. Total entitlement, indeed! Anyway, your experience with family and lack thereof is a lot to take in…I so admire your attitude and perspective with all that has happened and all that is yet to come. You see things for the ugly or beautiful thing they are, but you also have this very wonderful way of checking yourself out of the drama and not being too emotionally attached to any one experience. It’s quite wise and makes it very intriguing to see what you will say next because I value your opinion. Thanks for sharing your heart with us even when it’s a bit painful! You are a vey beautiful thing. πŸ™‚

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    • Nara

      Thanks love! I am definitely thinking more about these things lately. I’m not sure whether it’s Buserelin brain or some sort of age related thing! I am not sure how these thoughts pop into my head! πŸ™‚ But definitely I was so mad about the train guy. I think that you just get douchey people now and again, and my tolerance of douches seems to have reduced lately! As for the ponderings… I use the blog as a bit of stream of consciousness so there are a lot of things I think about. Although I do have to edit out many of the pizza thoughts! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy M.

    IVF is the biggest screw up of your mind ever. It does so many things to you…not just because of the meds, but because of what it is in general. Funny enough…even though I had been on BCP most of my adult life, THAT was the drug that messed with my head the most. Go figure. I think it’s completely fine/normal for you to be feeling so much right now. Just let yourself feel and allow yourself to process through it. And just remember, things won’t be this way forever. Try to hang in there! *hugs*

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    • Nara

      Thanks for that! I’m glad it’s not just me! Sometimes it feels like I am going a bit manic – I’m sure it is the drugs (tell me it’s not me!). Thank you for the reassurance that it’s (possibly!) the drugs and not my defective personality! πŸ™‚
      And thanks for cheering me on! Hope everything is going great with you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. countyourselfunlucky

    I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I find your blogs about adoption very interesting. It’s not something I really have experience of, so it doesn’t feel right for me to comment but I want you to know that you certainly give me food for thought.
    Good luck with the IVF. I hated taking buserelin and had hideous headaches on it so sympathise with how you’re feeling. I really hope that this cycle works for you and you don’t have to go down the plan b route. Best wishes! xx

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    • Nara

      Thank you! It is a bit of a stream of consciousness on my blog. I think the thing is that adoption is not something that just stops (although the very event happened a long time ago) as it’s something that affects your whole life – in that it’s something that changed the course of your life. That said, I definitely talk through it more on here than I ever do elsewhere. It’s not like I go around every day thinking “I’m adopted” (although I know that some people do). For me I have always attributed that feeling to being a different race more than being adopted. But with the fertility treatments and maybe my age, I’ve more and more begun to think about the loss of genetic links. (To clarify though, and I’m not sure why I always do this, but I do mean to say that I’m generally happy and I think of adoption as more of a fact than some sort of problem to be solved. I know other adoptees feel differently.)

      Yeah I’m not loving Buserelin right now. I think (not entirely sure) that I started my period too, which probably doesn’t help. What I’m not looking forward to is stims, as that from memory was the worst bit, with a swollen stomach and even more humungaboobs! Urgh!

      Like

  7. Babyscienceproject

    Ugh I HATE it when people on the tube hog seats/demand seats for their kids. Having a child is not the same as being disabled, old or pregnant! Really makes me fume when I see parents let their kids stay seated when there are elderly people standing. Kids actually PREFER to stand anyway – it’s more fun – they can pretend they’re surfing or something. Next time please say no. What a total dick. I’m sure everyone nearby was sending him secret hate vibes.

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    • Nara

      I don’t know how this has happened but I do think that England has become very child centric. Like there aren’t many restaurants now where you can go where there won’t be children and tripping over pushchairs etc. I think that’s why so many childless adults go to wine bars! πŸ™‚ (You can’t even go to pubs any more that aren’t stuffed full of kids.)

      I definitely couldn’t say no! Can you imagine! So unBritish! πŸ™‚

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      • Babyscienceproject

        Feel the fear and do it anyway! Seriously – it was rude of him to ask for the seat. You might have a hidden disability. You might have been pregnant. You might have been going through infertility treatment!!

        Like

      • Nara

        Ha! You know you don’t get anything like that in London! No badges for “I need a seat because I have a sore head/foot/heart”! πŸ˜ͺ

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Courtney

    I always was looking ahead at next steps if we failed the current treatment. Poor Brian just couldn’t understand it, but it made me feel in control.

    I lived in Chicago for years without a car and children always got priority on the bus and subway. It never bothered me as it seemed to make sense. I can’t remember anyone asking someone to give up a seat for their child, it just happened. What I would find annoying about the whole thing you describe is the man talking loudly to his child the whole time. People on public transit generally understand the importance of not invading others space and when someone doesn’t get it, and thinks the entire bus wants to hear them speak, that drives me insane.

    I’m excited about your house!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thanks! Glad it’s not just me! Of course I’m (not so) secretly hoping we will be like you and it will work and no need for next steps. Also at least if we get the house then we’ll have a bit more freedom to spend money so we could afford private IVF. Right now we have to have spotless bank accounts, no credit cards or debts so we can get the mortgage sorted.

      In London the main rule is for elderly, disabled and pregnant – not children – on the tube, although people occasionally give up seats for kids. Generally they wouldn’t as the kid would be in a pushchair so in the aisle anyway, or sit on the parent’s lap, or for older children they are basically in the same queue as adults for seats.

      The whole tube etiquette thing in London is funny. Like nobody likes loudness at all and the generally expected thing to do is to be quiet and read / listen to music / don’t look anyone in the eye. That said, I’ve been on the NYC subway and it’s far less menacing than that! I made T get off the subway once as a guy was staring at us whilst plunging a knife into the seat! In London the worst thing that usually happens is that someone is rude!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. libraryowl33

    I really know what you mean about the idea of losing a genetic connection on both sides of your existence. I’m struggling with this a lot lately, and reading what you wrote has me near tears because I know that someone else understands. It makes me feel like a horrible person when I realize that I really might not adopt if it comes down to the choice of that or childlessness. I want the genetic link, I think especially because I never had that growing up. It’s comforting to hear that D feels the same; my brother is so stoic about his adoption and I’d always assumed that there was something wrong with me for feeling this way.
    Train guy sounds terrible! I’m always glad to see parents interacting with their children as it usually means the child won’t be acting up, but keep your voice at an appropriate level dude! Also, I can’t believe he made you give up your seat, what an ass.
    Exciting news on the home front! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out. *hugs*

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    • Nara

      Thank you for understanding. I think it’s hard to articulate to people who don’t have this, as you can only really know your own experience. And it’s something that people take for granted. Like… I sometimes think, if I met someone I was genetically related to… would it feel different? I really don’t know. I have people I love insanely much (like T and Dog!) and I’m unrelated to them. And I know I love my family differently to my friends… but is it because of family, or just that I’ve known them for longer and we have shared experiences? Is there something qualitatively different about a genetic link? That’s what I want to know! (My mother always says she loves us exactly the same amount as the bio kids, but I really feel that there must be a difference, even though in her head there isn’t. Does that sound weird?)

      Yeah, hopefully I’m over douche guy now. Although the blimp (as I’ve renamed the pregnant b**** at work) is in the office today, which means I’m subjected to her loud voice and general blimpness. I’m just jealous, I’m sure. (Actually I’m not just jealous – I am jealous AND she’s a b****.) At least I have my awesome new desk which has a bit more distance from her! And hopefully a new house eventually! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • libraryowl33

        It really is almost impossible to explain to anyone who hasn’t been there. I tried to explain it to hubby last night and failed pretty miserably. For me, I’ve actually met my genetic link in the form of my birth mom and her side of the family, and I honestly felt nothing towards them. But, was that only because they’d given me up, and so in my head my parents are the ones who raised me? But, even though I know that for me the genetic link really didn’t matter, being adopted is a huge part of who I am, and it will always make me Other. I know if I have a child through IVF, that child will always be Other as well (conceived differently than most children), but I have to believe that this will not affect them as substantially as my adoption affected me. I want them to have that security in knowing that they were entirely wanted, and to look at me or hubby and to know that they are the same as us. I do believe that adopted parents wholeheartedly love their children, but also that there must be a slightly different love for the baby that you gave birth to. Not lesser, just different.
        Ugh, I keep putting The Blimp (love the new name) out of my mind. How much longer until you never have to see her puffy, obnoxious face again?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        I think that’s why I worry about meeting a genetic relation. I wonder if I would feel anything at all. I agree with everything you say! Everything!
        Sadly the Blimp is probably staying right up until my “due [to leave the company] date”! She intends to work right until she pops the sprog. I’m hoping it comes early!

        Like

  10. wonkygenes

    Great post Nara! I am British but live in Italy and trust me, the people here are WAY worse when it comes to seats. I was in the middle of one of my IVF cycles and obviously looking like I was about to faint (I ended up crouched on the floor or a bus to stop fainting) and NOONE gave up their seat…this includes men and women…they just glowered at me.
    Also, to let you know, I was on Buserlin to down regulated before my second IVF, I gave me massive waves of depression, I was bursting into tears and feeling loads of ‘otherness’ throughout that period. I know we (and you) have very good reasons to feel that ‘otherness’, but the drugs definitely accentuated it for me…it disappeared when I started the other drugs (Gonal F)…so hang on…not long to go. Sending hugs

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! I do think that the drugs have a bad effect on me. Although I think that Gonal F was worse! πŸ˜‚ It seemed easier first cycle as I was a lot more optimistic / excited I think. This time I’m having Menopur instead of Gonal F so hopefully won’t be too bad! Sorry to hear they don’t give you a seat in Italy! I love Italy but their driving is horrendous! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Arwen

    That dude sounds like a total assbag even without the down regulation!! Ugh he would have peed me off something chronic too.
    Buserelin is the devil I swear, I felt so bloody awful on it. Here’s hoping your scan next week shows that everything is nice and quiet and you can start menopur (which was alright I thought!) awkward British hugs πŸ˜‰ xxxx

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  12. notpregnantinrezza

    Thank you for writing this it was I felt I learnt some important things about the impact of interracial adoption for the child (which personally is helpful as I have concerned international adoption). I’m really sorry you are feeling so crappy. That man on the train was utterly infuriating though. What an unbelievable idiot (I would use a stronger word but dunno how you feel about swearing). I really hope you get your family soon. Fingers crossed for you for your IVF cycle.

    Like

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